OG third-party Onewheel accessory vendor Greg DiGenti shares his story of MazzCo with us.
In late 2015 I saw Onewheel’s Kickstarter video on Facebook (about a year after it successfully completed). A few weeks later I placed my order. It took two months to ship but was totally worth it, and I was hooked after my first ride. My work commute became part train and part Onewheel ride. It was my favorite part of the workday. What sucked was lugging my Onewheel by the built-in handle up and down the various flights of stairs and through the halls of my office. The security guards frown on riding it through the building, unfortunately. It felt like my arm was going to fall off by the time I got to my desk.
Back then there were almost no third-party Onewheel vendors out there. I had seen a few posts on Future Motion’s Onewheel user forum where people had installed metal handles from the hardware store on the side of their Onewheel. A side-handle seemed like a great idea, but I didn’t want to drill holes into the rails of my board. So, I brainstormed and made a prototype of one that attached with velcro to see if it would hold a 25-pound board. It was ugly, but it worked even better than I expected.
I then came up with a nicer design. I thought I’d make a small batch and see if other riders were interested in having one too. But I had zero experience in manufacturing and wasn’t sure how to go about making it. Then a guy in the UK from the Onewheel forum contacted me about manufacturing another idea he had seen me post about. It was a simple strap system for carrying the Onewheel on your back. After a few back-and-fourths on that, he didn’t feel it worked well enough to sell, so I mentioned my handle idea. He liked it, so I sent him a prototype of my new design. (On hindsight, I wished I hadn’t done this. But at the time I just had no idea about how else I could get this done.)
A few weeks later he sent me photos of the wooden version pictured below. I was a bit taken aback because it wasn’t at all like we had discussed. But I had already sent him the money to manufacture them, and he had already made a batch of them by the time he showed me anything. They were well-made and they looked nice, so I put them up for sale on the forum and they sold out over the course of a few months.
We continued with a few more batches, but after about a year I decided to part ways with him. I was losing control over my idea and wanted to make a handle that was closer to my original vision. But… how? While I tried to figure that out, I was working on another idea I had for a Onewheel stand. This was when Future Motion’s wooden stand was the only choice and no third-party Onewheel vendors were offering one. I mentioned it to a coworker, and he put me in touch with a CNC operator he thought could prototype it for me.
I met with him and while discussing the stand I showed him my wooden Onewheel handle. When I mentioned my idea for a slimmer design, he said he could make the main bracket with aluminum. He sketched out a few concepts which got the wheels turning in my head. That night I immediately started working on a new design for what would become the SilverHandle.
The original SilverHandle: Brushed laser-cut aluminum
I named my company MazzCo in honor of my daughter, Mazzy. She was born around the same time I started making handles. I don’t think I ever would have worked as hard as I did had it not been for my daughter. For the next year my CNC guy was manufacturing the aluminum brackets for my handles. A friend of mine and I did all the assembly in a hot tool shed I had converted into a makeshift workshop.
Being a third-party Onewheel vendor has help me bond with our customers and great community members. I’ve enjoyed meeting fellow Onewheel riders at FloatLifeFest and in my local area on group rides. I have now been a third party Onewheel vendor making and selling side-handles for nearly 4 years. We are continually improving our handles. These improvements are anodizing the aluminum, reinforcing the velcro straps, and having more and more parts custom made. At one point we switched to a bigger manufacturer to make the brackets when demand increased and my CNC guy could no longer keep up. But my friends and I still assemble every handle in my workshop, which has since moved from the shed to the garage.
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